Author Archives: Mountain Orthodontics

The Essential Braces Kit

In order for your braces to be effective and give you that perfect smile, you will need to take care of them and your teeth.  A proper oral hygiene routine needs to be adhered to – at home or on the go.  Here are some ideas to build your essential braces cleaning kit.

The Perfect Braces Kit

When preparing your kit, you will want to include the basics for proper dental hygiene.  This includes:

  • A toothbrush. Don’t forget to include a toothbrush cover to keep your toothbrush clean and undamaged.  Remember to replace your toothbrush every 3 months or when the bristles start to flair out.  Always use a soft or ultra soft bristle to prevent damage to the enamel or braces.
  • Choose your favorite type in a convenient travel size.  Fluoridated toothpastes are recommended because they have been proven to help prevent cavities.
  • Dental floss, floss threaders, and sulca brushes. It is important to remove any food from the braces to minimize tooth decay and plaque build-up.  Floss threaders and superfloss will get the dental floss into hard to reach places such as under the wires and between the teeth.  Waxed floss often works better than unwaxed floss because it doesn’t get shredded or get stuck in your braces.  A sulca brush is like a tiny toothbrush that can get in the tight spots where a regular toothbrush is too big.


  • Dental wax. This is a very helpful item in your kit.  A broken or damaged wire or bracket will irritate your gum, cheek, or lips.  Make sure that you have enough wax to create a cushion between your brace and the rest of your mouth until you can make an appointment to get it fixed.
  • Tylenol or Advil. You will want a type of pain relief available, especially after getting your braces adjusted, to relieve any discomfort.
  • Tissues or Kleenex. They will dry any area so the wax stays on better.
  • A bottle of water. If you need to rinse your mouth out or brush your teeth after a meal, a bottle of water is a must.  Water will also help loosen any unwanted food particles stuck between your braces and teeth.
  • Lip balm. This will keep your lips hydrated and to prevent chapping or cracking.

This emergency braces kit will allow you to adhere to your orthodontic hygiene routine, even when you are not at home.  Keep in mind the better care you take of your braces, the happier you are going to be with the final product – a beautiful and straight set of teeth.  If you would like more information about what to pack in your braces kit or are interested in finding out more about the various orthodontic treatment we offer, please contact us today.  We look forward to working with you soon.

Enjoying Easter with Braces

Easter is about enjoying family time, Easter egg hunts and all kinds of delicious treats.  If you are not careful, however, your braces can get damaged and leave you with an emergency trip to your orthodontist.  The good news is that there are ways to enjoy all the great parts of Easter with braces.  I would like to share the following tips on how you and your braces can enjoy Easter worry free.

Its All About the Treats

Just because you have braces doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy the delicious Easter treats.  However, there are some candies that you will want to avoid because they can wreak havoc on your brackets and wires.  Treats to avoid this Easter include:

  • Chewy candies such as jelly beans, caramels or marshmallow chicks. These types of candies can stick to your wires and brackets and even pull them off.
  • Hard shelled candy such as mini-eggs. The shell can break off brackets and have been known to bend and damage brace wires.

It is not all doom and gloom around Easter treats.  There are many delicious treats that you can indulge in that are brace friendly.  Replace chewy or hard candies with:

  • That’s right, the traditional chocolate Easter bunny is perfectly fine to eat with your braces.  Enjoy this delicious treat guilt-free.  Just remember to not bite into hard chocolate.
  • Baked goods such as cupcakes or brownies. These types of treats are perfectly fine for your braces.

Change the Eggs

If you have braces, perhaps a less traditional Easter egg hunt is needed this year.  If crunchy and sticky treats have been the norm for your Easter egg hunt maybe a different more brace-friendly approach is the way to go.  Try replacing those chewy and hard candies with:

  • Chocolate eggs of all shapes and sizes.
  • Non-edible items such as toys or nail polish. These types of items can be a great substitute for any Easter baskets as well.

Keep a Routine

Just because it is Easter and chocolate is on the brace friendly list doesn’t mean that you can neglect your daily brace hygiene routine. You are going to want to brush your teeth and braces and floss them to prevent any extra plaque build up or cavities from forming.  Stay with your regular routine and you should be able to enjoy a great Easter without needing to worry too much about any problems or brace damage.

Orthodontic Retainers

That day has finally come – it is time to get your braces removed.  So now what?  Once your braces have been removed your teeth will still need support while they are getting used to their new positions.  The job of the retainers is to provide this support.  Unfortunately, there also may be an orthodontic relapse or shifting of your teeth if the retainers are not worn or cared for properly.  Here are some options if you experience orthodontic relapse.

Watch and Monitor

It may be the best-case scenario when you have noticed a minor shift in your teeth.  Usually, this can be quickly corrected by regularly using your retainer.  Making and attending follow up appointments with both your dentist and orthodontist is also important so they can keep a close eye on any orthodontic relapse and address the situation if need be.

Retainer Use

Usually orthodontic relapse happens because of improper or infrequent retainer use.  Retainers are most often a custom made, removable appliance.  The purpose of a retainer is to support the teeth while they are settling into their new positions.

If your retainer feels tight or makes your teeth hurt when you are wearing it, this is a sign that you are experiencing some shifting and need to start to wear your retainer more frequently.

If your retainer no longer fits, make an appointment with your orthodontist as soon as possible to discuss making a new retainer or possible retreatment options.

Bonded (glued –in) retainers are also sometimes used.  If the glue comes off these retainers it must be replaced as soon as possible.  Also, these bonded retainers can become active and start to move teeth.  If you notice this happening it is very important to see your orthodontist right away before problems develop with the gum and bone around the teeth.


In severe cases of orthodontic relapse, a second round of orthodontic treatment might be necessary to correct the problem.  If this is the case, there are a number of different options that are available to correct the problem.  These include:

  • Clear braces
  • Traditional metal braces
  • Clear plastic aligners


Do keep in mind that not all shifting is due to improper or infrequent retainer use. Some settling should be expected after your braces have been removed.

In order to avoid an orthodontic relapse, make sure to wear your retainer and attend your post-braces orthodontic appointments.  If you lose or damage your retainer, come in at once to get it repaired or replaced. If you have any further questions about orthodontic relapse or the options that are available to correct it, please contact me today.  Let’s keep those teeth in perfect alignment and remember to keep on smiling.


A New Year, A New You

It’s a new year and a fresh start.  If you have been thinking about getting braces, then now is the perfect time.  Braces will not only give you straight teeth and a beautiful smile, they can offer other health benefits as well.

Who Needs Braces?

If you are suffering from any of the following problems, then you might benefit from orthodontic treatment.

  • Braces can correct overbites and underbites.
  • Braces can straighten crooked teeth, correct crowding problems and align your teeth for a beautiful smile.
  • Braces can alleviate jaw pressure and help you chew your food.
  • Orthodontic treatment, in conjunction with other medical treatments, can also improve breathing in some situations.

What to Expect?

Orthodontic appointments start with a consultation.  During this appointment Dr. Ball will discuss the general problems with your teeth and bite and give you an idea of the treatment.  After this  records appointment will be done and the treatment plan finalized.

Regardless of what type of treatment you choose, you will be required to attend regular appointments, so we can assess the progress and make adjustments.  You may experience soreness in the few days after each follow up appointment.  Don’t panic, it is only your teeth getting used to the pressure of the newly adjusted wire or aligner.

You will be responsible for keeping up on your dental hygiene (regular brushing and flossing) to prevent cavities or plaque build-up.  It is also advisable that you avoid certain foods during your orthodontic treatments, as they may damage your braces and set back the overall treatment process.

What Type of Treatment is Right for You?

The type of orthodontic treatment that is right for you will greatly depend on what type of orthodontic needs you have.  Two of the more popular choices that are applied to many orthodontic needs are:

  • Traditional metal braces – this approach is tried, tested and true and is the most popular and cost-effective approach. Traditional metal braces consist of brackets that are fastened to each tooth and connected with wire.  This wire is adjusted to align and straighten your teeth.
  • Invisalign braces – this type of orthodontic procedure uses custom fit clear, plastic aligners that adjust and straighten your teeth over a period of time.

Why not start off the new year with a resolution to fix your teeth and bite!  The end result of perfectly aligned teeth and a beautiful smile will make the journey well worth it.  If you have any questions about the various orthodontic treatments available or would like to book your initial exam, please contact us today.  I look forward to working with you.


3 Reasons Why Adults Might Need Orthodontic Treatment

Although orthodontic treatment and braces are usually associated with your teenage years, it is never too late to straighten your teeth.  Nowadays more and more adults are deciding to get braces.  Here are a few reasons why adults should get braces and live life enjoying that perfect smile.

Why Get Braces?

Believe it or not, braces do more than just straighten teeth.  As an adult, straight teeth may be secondary to fixing bite problems and overall function.  Proper orthodontic treatment will make your teeth easier to clean and can relax strained jaw muscles.  A quick trip to your orthodontist can pinpoint problem areas and create a personalized plan on how to correct them.


Research has shown that straight teeth and proper tooth alignment can improve self-esteem.  A confident smile can help you in many aspects of your life whether personal or professional.

Your Oral Health

Braces will improve your oral health.  Orthodontic treatment will correct:

  • Malocclusions – This condition refers to crooked or crowded teeth, which can lead to a “bad or destructive bite”. Dentist will often refer adults to an orthodontist because of a bite that is damaging to the teeth or gums.  Some of the damage that can result from a bad bite is worn teeth, gum recession, broken teeth, and tipped teeth.
  • Difficulty cleaning your teeth – Crooked or crowded teeth make your teeth difficult to clean.  This can lead to tooth decay, cavities, and gum and bond problems.  All of these problems can lead to tooth loss.  Straight teeth are easier to keep clean, thus reducing the risk that other problems will develop.

Flexible Treatments

Many adults are wary of braces for the simple fact that they don’t want metal brackets on their teeth.

Fortunately, there are many different orthodontic treatment options that are available today that do not use the traditional metal brace.  Options such as Invisalign or ceramic braces will minimize how noticeable your treatment is.

You may also be surprised that the overall treatment time is less time than you may think.  Talk to your orthodontist to set up a treatment option that works for you.

Your insurance may also cover some or all the costs associated with your treatment. Make sure to inquire with your insurance company to see if they will cover your orthodontic treatment.

It’s Worth It!

Orthodontic treatment as an adult can be a difficult decision but, like all difficult decisions, it is remarkably rewarding!